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Tag: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

Conditions Wrists

Why Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Happen?

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Why does carpal tunnel syndrome happen?

It’s a question we hear often at our hand doctor’s offices in Howell, West Bloomfield, Warren, and Macomb Township. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common conditions we treat.

In fact, more than 4 million people are affected by the syndrome. According to the Workers’ Compensation Institute, approximately 230,000 carpal tunnel release surgeries are performed every year

Determining the exact cause of CTS in order to prevent it can be challenging. Why carpal tunnel syndrome happens is based on a combination of many factors, and these factors range from gender to career choice.

CTS Defined

Before we get into the whys, here is a broad overview of what carpal tunnel syndrome is.

In general terms, CTS is a pinched nerve in the wrist. The phrase carpal tunnel itself refers to a space in the wrist where nine tendons and the median nerve pass from the arm into the hand.

When the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed, squeezed, or inflamed at the wrist, the result may be symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. They include numbness, pain, burning, tingling, and weakness in the wrist, palm of the hand, and along the fingers, especially the thumb and index finger, as well as a weaker grip and a tendency to drop things more often.

In other words, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of pressure and swelling in this tunnel, which in turn increases pressure to the median nerve. It is typically not a problem with the median nerve itself.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may increase gradually, and they often extend up into the arm.  These feelings may intensify to the point where it becomes difficult to hold small objects or to make a fist.

Frequent use of keyboards or power tools at work may cause carpal tunnel syndrome or lead to flareups.
Frequent use of keyboards or power tools at work may cause carpal tunnel syndrome or lead to flareups.

Why Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Happen?

Because a combination of factors may be involved, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of CTS in each case. Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome and sources of flareups include current health conditions, gender, careers, hobbies, and a predisposition to the condition.

Current health conditions

Current health conditions may cause carpal tunnel syndrome or exacerbate symptoms of CTS in those who already have the condition. These include rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, thyroid conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, and prior injuries. Diabetes and other metabolic disorders may directly affect the body’s nerves and make them more susceptible to compression.


Is carpal tunnel syndrome hereditary? It’s a controversial topic and one that requires further research. Historically, it was not believed to be hereditary, but more recent studies show some links. For that reason, some scientists and doctors believe some people may be more genetically predisposed to the condition than others.


Women are three times more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome than men are. In some cases, this may be due to pregnancy or menopause, which may cause swelling in the wrists.

Career and hobbies

Careers and hobbies are the most notorious culprits. Actions that can increase carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include improper use of computer keyboards, regular use of power tools or hand tools, and repeated use of your wrist, such as playing a violin.

The risk of developing CTS is higher among assembly line workers, such as those in manufacturing, sewing, cleaning, and the restaurant industry. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common among data entry personnel and others who use computers often.

CTS Treatment

Reducing or modifying certain actions may help alleviate the symptoms, such as taking frequent breaks, stretching out your wrists and fingers, wearing wrist protectors if possible, and investing in ergonomically designed furniture and equipment.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may be present more at night than during the day based on how you sleep. For that reason, Dr. Arora may recommend that CTS patients wear wrist braces at night in order to support the wrist and keep it straight.

Other treatment options include steroid injections, the use of anti-inflammatory medications, and wrist surgery.

If you are experiencing wrist pain due to CTS, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment at a southeast Michigan location near you.

General Wrists

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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Many people do not even realize that they are beginning to get carpal tunnel, as it has a tendency to start slowly. It will often begin with a numb or tingling sensation that starts in the fingers. In the beginning, this is not permanent. Sometimes you will feel it and sometimes you will not. Most of the time, you will not feel it in your little finger, but you will feel this sensation in your thumb and the other fingers.

You may begin to feel this when you are gripping something, such as a phone or tablet, when you are reading, typing, or even driving. In some cases, it can even cause people to wake up at night. While most people will only feel it in their hands and fingers at first, it is possible to have the feeling spread up the forearm. As carpel tunnel worsens, these sensations become permanent quite often.

Many who have carpal tunnel will also find that they have weakness in their hands, making it more difficult to hold onto things with a good grip. Those who have these signs and symptoms should certainly consider speaking with a doctor about what they can do next and whether surgery will be necessary.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

When the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, it causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerve extends from the hand, through the carpal tunnel, and up through the forearm. It may be difficult to isolate the cause of the carpal tunnel. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Certain anatomical factors can be a cause as well. Those who have smaller carpal tunnels are at a higher likelihood of injury. Other causes can include diabetes and other conditions that damage the nerves, fluid retention, obesity, and of course, factors in the workplace. In any job where there is repetitive flexing of the wrist, there is a chance of people developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Several different options are available for carpal tunnel treatment, and endoscopic surgery is one of the top choices for many. One of the benefits of getting endoscopic surgery is that the incisions tend to be small and the recovery time minimal for most types of surgery. This includes surgery to help people deal with their carpal tunnel syndrome. The surgeons will make a small incision in the hand, near the wrist, and then guide the endoscope into the hand to see the wrist. The tools utilized tend to be very small, which also go through the small incision.

During the surgery, the surgeon will cut the transverse carpal ligament as a means to help reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the median nerve. The goal is to help eliminate the symptoms that people with carpal tunnel suffer. While there are certainly benefits to the smaller incisions, endoscopic surgery may not be the right solution for everyone. You will need to speak with your hand surgery specialist about the best course of action for your own hands.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.